Crocheted Messenger Bag

Here is a messenger bag-style bag I made for my oldest to carry her school books in. I used three different colors because that’s what I had, but you could certainly do it all in one color as well. I did use my own version of a “join-as-you go” type thing because I hate sewing pieces together, so bare with me as I try to explain it.

Materials:
J hook
worsted weight yarn – about 3-8oz. skeins
yarn needle (for sewing in ends)

Difficulty: intermediate-advanced

Finished size: bag is 10″ x 13″ x 2″; strap is 37″ from top edges of bag

Stitches used:
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
sc – single crochet
ss – slip stitch
jdec – joining decrease: insert hook in last st of the row, pull up loop, insert hook into corresponding stitch on connecting piece, pull up loop, yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook

Front panel:
Chain 45 (or desired width, as long as it’s an odd number – 45 chs gave me 13″).
Row 1: dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across (43 dc)
Row 2 (and all even rows): ch 1, sc in each st across
Row 3 (and all odd rows): ch 3 (counts as first dc), skip first dc, dc in next st and each st across
Repeat rows 2 & 3 for desired length, ending with an odd (dc) row. I stopped at about 10″ – or 12 dc rows.

Back panel & flap:
Work same as front panel, except work to almost twice the length as the front panel. I stopped after 24 dc rows.

NOTE: Either side can be the right side. My daughter wanted it with the odd rows as the right side. My husband said he liked it better with the even rows as the right side.

Joining & Strap:
This is where it gets a little tricky, so bare with me. The joining and strap are worked in sc. Crocheting tends to be pretty square, so for each row you work, it equals one stich wide and one row high. Keep this in mind as you go along.

Place front (left) and back piece (right) on a table with right sides up, and bottom edges facing each other. Join with slip stitch in center foundation chain on back piece. Ch 7, join with slip stitch in center foundation chain of front piece; ss in next foundation chain and turn the whole mess – this ss counts as the ch 1 you would normally do at the end of a sc row.

First row: sc in first 6 chs; insert hook in last ch and pull up a loop, insert hook in next foundation chain of back piece and pull up a loop, yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook (jdec); ss in next foundation chain and turn (7 sc).

Remaining joining rows: 6 sc, jdec, ss in next ch.

When you get to the corner of your pieces, work 3 rows in the corner chains, then continue up the sides of the bag. In the dc rows, since one row of dc is the same height as two rows of sc, you will work two rows of the side before going on to the sc row. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should be in the same position on both ends of the sc row as you work up the sides.

When you get to the end of the front piece, stop joining and work in plain sc – 7 sts across – for the desired strap length. Remember that this will stretch when there’s stuff in the bag, so make it shorter than you think you need.

Once you have the strap the right length, instead of making a ch at the end of the row, sl in the end of the top row on the other side of the bag. Be careful not to twist the strap as you do this. Now, continue as before, working 6 sts, a jdec, and ss in the next spot. Again, work 3 rows in the corner and continue until you meet up with where you started.

After you do your last row, cut the yarn about 6-8″ from the hook and turn the whole bag inside out. Ch 1, ss your last row to your foundation chain. Weave in your ends.

You’re now officially done! If you want to clean things up a little, you can do a sc border along the top edge of the front, around the side and edge of the flap, and along the sides of the strap. Just join and end with a ss somewhere in your joining.

It sounds complicated, but it’s really very easy once you get the hang of it. It’s my own modification of a knitting technique that I’ve found very handy. Like I said, I don’t like sewing stuff together. Please e-mail me if you have any questions.

(c) 2009 Mandi Aumann
Please restrict use of this pattern to personal use. Thank you.

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